Owning properties in 3 different states requires me to travel a great deal. On a recent trip to Atlanta my mind began to wander while I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight. I was watching how everyone around me was just kind of minding their own business, listening to their I-pod, watching TV or reading the newspaper. As I boarded my flight, I again took note of how little people were interacting with each other. It seemed the only friendly and outgoing people I encountered on my trip were those that were working. It then occurred to me, are people only friendly when they are required to be?
After boarding the plane and being sandwiched in between two people, I decided to continue my social experiment. I waited half an hour to see if either person on my left or right would introduce themselves to me or say anything at all. Sure enough, the guy on my right fell asleep almost immediately and the gentleman to my left put on his headphones and began watching a movie on his laptop. I was wide awake so I caught up on some blog writing myself.
After de-boarding my plane and walking through the airport to baggage claim I again noticed how everyone just sort of goes about their lives and seemingly only interact with others when it is necessary. After leaving the airport I thought about myself and how I interact with other people. Am I only friendly with other people only when it’s necessary? As I drove to my girlfriend’s place in Chicago I decided to start a social experiment of my own. I would conduct a weeklong experiment. For every person I made eye contact with I would smile and say hello, good morning, good afternoon, etc. For every person I would spend more than 10 seconds around, I would introduce myself and initiate a conversation.
It was easy to start my experiment because I spent the next afternoon attending a Chicago Cubs baseball game. It was surprising to me how many people would not reply to me when I would say ‘hello’ or ‘how you doin’?” as I walked to the ballpark. Most people would politely return my greeting and then go about their business. Regardless, I decided to continue my experiment.
Throughout my time at the ballpark I encountered several people and struck up many conversations. It was pretty easy to talk to people because I would just mention something that was going on throughout the game. “Man that Soriano was money well spent, right?” or “Lou just doesn’t have it anymore, can’t wait for Sandberg to manage this team next year” were great conversation openers. Most people would continue the dialog with me and after I introduced myself would have a 30 second to 1 minute conversation with me.
During the 3rd inning while standing in line at a concession stand I started a conversation with a guy and his girlfriend about the Cubs and how awful they are playing this year. We both shared the same opinions on this season, the Cubs roster, and many other things about the Cubs. During the conversation the gentleman told me that they had a friend who lived behind Wrigley and had access to the rooftop seats. He invited my girlfriend and I to watch the following day’s game from the rooftops. For anyone who has never followed the Cubs, the rooftop seats on Waveland Avenue are essentially the luxury boxes for Wrigley Field. After exchanging contact info my girlfriend and I, we returned to our seats to watch the Cubs bullpen blow another game.
While watching the next day’s game on the rooftops I was able to describe myself and my business in further detail to several people and felt like I had a couple possible investors.
Not everyone I started a conversation with during my weeklong experiment led me to a great experience like the rooftop seats, nor did any of the people I started conversations with lead me to an investor or a motivated property seller. However, I felt like I was making a step in the right direction by being friendly. I plan on continuing this approach and not just making it an experiment anymore, but rather to make it a part of my life. It never hurts to be friendly because you never know who you may run into and how they could change your life for the better.
Thanks for stopping by caseycavell.com. Have a great day and good luck to you in all your endeavors.